‘Tis the season for gratitude! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for this reason.
It prompts us to take a meaningful pause and notice the positive in our lives. One thing that I know for sure is that when I practice gratitude I feel happier. Do you?
To put it to practice, try this 2-step journaling technique for gratitude.
2-Step Journaling Technique for Gratitude
Step 1: List what you are grateful for.
Start journaling with a bulleted list. Name what you are grateful for – whatever comes to mind. There is no right or wrong with this list. Most mornings, my gratitude list looks like this:
- My partner
You see? Nothing fancy here. Simply notice what’s around you. Aim for 5-10 things.
Step 2: Savor depth over breadth.
This is the game-changer. Rather than rushing through your gratitude list like it’s another task on your to-do list, elaborate on the feeling of gratitude. Why?
Research from the Greater Good Science Center – University of California, Berkeley indicates that a shorter list with greater detail is more beneficial than a long list of surface-level things.
Go back through your bullet list and elaborate. What about that makes you feel grateful? Why does that stand out to you? Here’s my example:
- Coffee – warmth and comfort bringing me a simple joy first thing in the morning. I also love the mental boost that comes with it.
- Sunshine – a bright day lifts my mood and energy. I enjoy working from home with the light coming in. I can feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, which brings me comfort.
- Blanket – I have a comfortable bed to rest in each night and blankets to stay warm.
- My partner – I am grateful for the companionship from my partner, especially during a time when people are staying at home.
- Food – I am grateful to have access to food that nourishes my body and provides me with the energy I need to carry out my daily tasks.
As I elaborate, I feel an energetic shift toward gratitude. That’s exactly what I want you to pay attention to when you try this 2-step journaling technique. It’s what makes this practice meaningful.
Gratitude is a Gateway
Gratitude is a gateway connecting us to love, compassion, and joy. The question becomes: are you opening the gateway? Practice gratitude daily using this 2-step journaling technique. Notice how your mindset, energy, and mood shifts. As you develop the gratitude trait, it will be easier to notice the positive outcomes in your life happening right now.